How Do I Improve The Air Quality in My Home?
We at American Airflow understand the importance of air quality in the home and over the last decade we have become experts at improving the air you and your family breathe every day. You might think the air inside is cleaner than the air outside, with all of those pollutants and toxins we are constantly reading about, but the opposite can often be the case. The air inside our homes is stale and usually circulated by a central AC and heating system. So any allergens simply get pushed around the house with nowhere to go. Fresh outside air is a fantastic natural air filter, but we all know that is not always a year-round solution.
Unfortunately, many of the particles in our indoor air are odorless so most of us do not even know they are affecting us until a doctor visit. For those with friends or family members that have respiratory issues, such as asthma or allergies, improving air quality is more about health than comfort. Dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores can affect all of us, but will exacerbate anyone with a breathing illness. Of course you should always consult your doctor to discuss any breathing issues you or your family may have, but then ask your local HVAC technician what can be done on top of the doctor’s orders to improve your quality of life at home.
While we still recommend opening the windows every now and then to get that air circulating, no matter what the outside temperature may be, we also know that it is just not feasible in those cold winter months and it is definitely not happening during the sweltering days of summer. For those extreme seasonal times when the air we breathe is trapped indoors, we have a number of general ideas to share. But you should take the time to sit down with your local HVAC technician to discuss what options are available that would make the most sense for you, your family, and your home. Our many satisfied customers will tell you it is absolutely worth it!
The first thing to consider is the cleanliness of your living space. You would be amazed at how good hygiene can offer immediate air quality improvement. Vacuuming rugs and carpets regularly will definitely help to cut down on those pesky particles, but a home with hardwood floors will most likely lessen their existence altogether. Of course that is not always an option for everyone and of course many of you love your wall-to-wall carpeting, so just remember a tidy home is a healthier home. We also highly recommend washing all of the materials in your house like your beds, curtains, and furniture. Making a small change to your cleaning routine can make a huge difference.
For those of us that have a lot of stuff, another easy solution to keeping your home clean is to get rid of some of the clutter. The less stuff we have, the less things we have to clean. Seems obvious, but think about how you clean your home and whether or not you clean every single item or just general areas. We are not here to judge because obviously no one is perfect at keeping a clean house, though clearing out storage areas and organizing mementos is a great start. This is especially important because often our heating and air conditioning equipment are installed in the areas of our home that are used for storing the stuff we do not use every day.
Your furnace, boiler, hot water heater, heat pump, or air handler are usually located in your basement or your attic, near those old trophies and boxes of baseball cards that are, quite literally, collecting dust. Imagine the machine that is charged with circulating the hot or cool air in your home is actually based in some of the dirtiest areas in the places we live. Making sure those spaces are clean and dry will also help your technician properly maintain a highly functional system. A dirty machine will require a lot more service than a clean one, so lets try to keep those expensive repairs to a minimum.
Clean equipment will not only minimize natural wear and tear, but it will allow the many moving parts to function at peak performance for an extended period. A well-maintained system will last much longer and run much more efficiently, which can both stretch the lifespan of the products you purchase and also cut down your monthly bills. The US Energy Department has said that a regularly serviced heating and air conditioning system can save you up to 30% each month, which adds up to a lot of extra money for the fun things in life.
Always make sure your HVAC technician changes the filters during the maintenance service, as those filters trap much of the dust that is spreading throughout your home. There are different brands and styles of filters in a range of shapes and sizes, but here at American Airflow we recommend high capacity pleated filters. Those filters can cost a little bit more than a cheap fiberglass filter, but the quality is more than worth the extra expense. We recommend changing the filters every few months, or at least during each maintenance appointment, which is usually in the spring for the air conditioning system and in the autumn for the heating system.
For anyone suffering from asthma or allergies and looking to seriously increase the air quality in their home, we highly suggest having your local HVAC contractor install an air purifier. We work with a wide range of products and we are happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss what options are best for your needs. Air purifiers or air cleaners can provide an array of improvements to your home. Our most popular model prevents dust build up, maximizes the life of your HVAC equipment, is ten times stronger than traditional filters, traps 98% of pollen and mold spores, permanently captures 97% of bacteria and fungi, and traps 96% of pet dander and dust.
So go open those windows, let that fresh air in as often as possible, but give American Airflow a call and we will gladly help with the rest.